Family Matters is now mostly remembered as The Urkel Show. Sabrina the Teenage Witch is kind of like that, too, except replace Urkel (or Stefan Urquelle, or Urkelbot) with Salem, a talking cat with a GIF for every situation. It’s only a matter of time before ABC builds a buddy comedy around Urkel and Salem (Roseanne without Roseanne’s existence proves anything’s possible), but until then, the feisty feline also appears in Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
The Kiernan Shipka-starring series is less kitschy than TGIF’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but it’s also hard to imagine a Sabrina show without Salem. Even if the show’s lead is allergic to cats. “I get a call that says, ‘Kiernan is allergic to the cat. It did go through my mind: Could Salem be a dog?” Sabrina showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa revealed, but he thought better of it (sorry, Sally Draper) and kept the cat. (“We keep at a safe distance,” Shipka joked.)
Salem isn’t much of a talker in the clip above, but there’s something oddly reassuring about seeing the teenage witch with her black cat again. Or, cats.
TV’s latest Salem [doesn’t] get as elaborate a backstory as he does in Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack’s Chilling Adventures comics, which serve as the show’s source material. What Salem does do is run, jump, confuse enemies, and generally Lassie about in the name of protecting his girl. And he’s awesome at it. It’s such a big role, in fact, that five cats are actually sharing the role together. Shaq, Boomer, Edward, Trevor, and Bobby all come via animal trainer Ian Doig and his staff (yep, he’s aware of the appropriateness of his surname). (Via)
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina premieres on October 26.